Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli’s reputation precedes him.
We’ve heard more than once since Marinelli arrived in town in 2013 that players have come to Dallas in free agency just to work with him, a defensive line expert without equal and a pass rush whisperer whose defenses are known for going hard and creating piles of turnovers.
That’s certainly the case with veteran linebacker Jasper Brinkley, who signed a two-year deal with the Cowboys back in March.
“I played in Minnesota for five years and I remember when he was in Chicago, just thinking about those defenses and the guys with the takeaways, a lot of takeaways,” Brinkley said, per the Dallas Morning News. “You think about Charles Tillman, you think about Brian Urlacher, you think about Lance Briggs, you think about Tim Jennings, all those guys.
“And just knowing how he gets the D-line going, because it starts up front. The battle starts in the trenches. Then it goes from the trenches to the linebackers and then to the back end. You’ve got Brandon Carr and J.J. Wilcox, [Orlando Scandrick], you got a good back end here.”
Marinelli makes no secret of the fact that his style of defense is founded on effort. He told Brinkley to “come in ready to run” when he signed his deal.
“It’s an uptempo pace here,” Brinkley said. “That’s something that I don’t think you can prepare for it before you get here. But once you get here and you kind of see how it is, like right now, I know what they expect. Coming in, I didn’t know, and it’s tough. It’s tough on a new guy. It’s pretty rough.”